'Large-scale' lay-off 'causes transport overload in Greater Porto, highlights BE

"We found that the lay-off has been a problem and that these operators have not put the fleet in circulation, they have kept workers in 'lay-off' and they have not taken hygiene and protection measures for the workers themselves" , revealed the deputy to the Assembly of the Republic of the Left Bloc (BE), Maria Manuel Rola.

Metro of Porto

BE reported today that the "large scale" recourse to the lay-off of private passenger operators in Greater Porto is overloading the system, arguing that an injection of liquidity should guarantee the full return of the operation.

"We found that the lay-off has been a problem and that these operators have not put the fleet in circulation, they have kept workers in 'lay-off' and they have not taken hygiene and protection measures for the workers themselves" , revealed the deputy to the Assembly of the Republic of the Left Bloc (BE), Maria Manuel Rola, speaking to Lusa, after a meeting with the Transport Workers Union of the Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP).

The deputy detailed that the majority of private operators "are resorting on a large scale" to the simplified 'lay-off', not guaranteeing the operation in its entirety and "overloading" other lines or operators, such as STCP - Sociedade de Transportes Porto collectives.

“People are starting to go to work, they need to move and the absence of private operators, for example here, in the Metropolitan Area [of Porto], has led, for example, that three lines that were operated by a private operator, have been reduced to just one that circulates only as far as STCP's response capacity already exists, which will converge in an increased need for transportation [to guarantee the operation] ”, explained the deputy.

Maria Manuel Rola, who recalled that today a draft resolution was presented to resume full operation in the transport sector, removing the option of simplified 'lay-off' “now”, denounced that this situation has led to “ capacity increase ”allowed in transport, raising safety issues for workers and passengers.

According to the blocker, with regard to the measures determined by the health authorities to curb the covid-19, Maria Manuel Rola said that there are private operators that are not complying with what was determined, namely in terms of capacity, distance or hygiene .

In addition, users are still faced with a decrease in the frequency of careers, which prevents, for example, these workers from adhering to the schedules determined by their employers.

“We realized that this project [resolution] is essential at this moment and we also realized that it is necessary - and we had already taken that step - to understand with the different city councils how the transport service and mobility have been put in question ”, He pointed out.

According to Maria Manuel Rola, “there are some municipalities”, more in Tâmega and Sousa, but also in the Porto Metropolitan Area, which had to use their own means to replenish the offer, so they understand that the injection of liquidity announced by the Government and AMP "must be accompanied by the guarantee [of return] of the total operation of all private operators, with all their workers, in order to guarantee the return of normality", and the necessary safety distance.

On Friday, the Porto Metropolitan Council (CmP) approved a payment of 2,3 million euros, related to the 2019 deficit, to transport operators with whom it will meet with a view to normalizing the service as of July 01 .

In addition, explained the president of CmP, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, an injection of capital by the Government is being negotiated with the Minister of the Environment.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 501 deaths and infected more than 10,16 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 1.568 people of the 41.912 confirmed as infected died, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

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